The American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are just some of the organizations that have made official responses to the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The following is a statement from AIA president Peter Exley, FAIA, and CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, posted on Jan. 8, denouncing the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol:

Destruction is not an acceptable form of expression. Violence is not a viable policy position. Neither has a place in civil society. AIA categorically condemns the violence and destruction caused by rioters bent on disrupting the nation’s peaceful transfer of power.

The riots were an appalling act of entitlement and weakness. They were the antithesis of our country’s founding ideals. It was also obvious that the latent response of law enforcement to the mob was yet another reminder of the significant differences between the policing of white vs brown and black people.

The insurgents, their supporters, and instigators do not understand what makes our country strong and enduring: respect for differences, reasoned discourse, and above all, the belief that America’s best days are ahead. There is no better symbol of those ideals than the powerful United States Capitol building.

But the United States Capitol is also a reminder of the nation’s original sins: The dislocation of native peoples and the enslavement of Africans. It sits on the ancestral land of the Nacotchtank, Piscataway and Pamunkey peoples. And the building was created with the extensive use of the labor and skill of enslaved Africans. That melding of noble aspirations and profound failings is foundational to the American experiment.

We are not a perfect union, yet we continue to strive to be the more perfect union envisioned 233 years ago. That relentless centuries-long pursuit is what inspires millions around the world and gives us hope.

In the spirit of hope, in a few days we will celebrate the life and exceptional contribution of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King dedicated his life to bending the historical arc of our nation closer toward universal justice.

It is also fitting that we will witness the transition of power that symbolizes the collective responsibility of “we the people” to work together toward a future that is fairer, healthier, and more sustainable for everyone, everywhere.

Both are well-timed reminders of what is best about our nation.

In the coming days, as we begin a new chapter in America’s history, we should all remember that what unites us – the belief that we are created equal and have a responsibility to leave our society better than we found it – is far more important and enduring than suspicion and division.

As architects, we are committed to those ideals.

Dr. King’s words resonate today, “All mankind is tied together; all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of identity. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

On Jan. 8, the America Society of Landscape Architects released the following statement from CEO Torey Carter-Conneen on the violence at the U.S. Capitol:

"The grounds of the United States Capitol are one of the most beautiful and well-known instances of landscape architecture in the world, designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The U.S. Capitol Complex is iconic, recognized globally as a testament to American design and a shining beacon for our democracy.

"The scenes from the Capitol Complex on Wednesday afternoon were heartbreaking and frightening. Make no mistake, what we saw was not a protest – it was an attack on the foundations of our democracy. These abhorrent actions were an insult to all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. ASLA condemns this violent insurrection by a riotous mob and the death and destruction it caused. We applaud Congress for getting back to the business of the people despite the distressing turn of events.

"This continues to be a challenging time for our nation, and we have many hurdles to clear in 2021 - from the pandemic and rebuilding our economy to reconnecting as Americans. We must pull together to secure our shared future with resilience and common humanity."

On Jan. 7, the American Planning Association issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Capitol attack:

The American Planning Association condemns yesterday's violent attack on the very heart of American democracy. Peaceful dialogue, broad public engagement, and the deliberative process of representative government are essential pillars of our society and cornerstones of planning.

These principles, which are central to ethical planning practice, should guide our communities and country as we navigate turbulent times and shared challenges together. We can and must work toward a more cohesive society that is built on mutual respect and opportunity-rich places for all people.

Last night, in the aftermath of the attack and into the early morning hours, Congress returned to the chambers of the U.S. Capitol to continue doing the business of a peaceful and orderly transition of power — one of democracy's greatest virtues.

We must all show similar resilience and integrity in our own efforts. Now is a moment to look forward with new resolve to engage all voices around mutual goals and work with our elected leaders to advance a shared vision of recovery and healing for all communities and our nation.

On Jan. 7, the National Trust for Historic Preservation published the following statement condemning the attack on the U.S. Capitol:

The National Trust for Historic Preservation condemns Wednesday’s violent insurrection at the United States Capitol in the strongest possible terms. The U.S. Capitol is an iconic national landmark, designed specifically to convey the values of our republic in a powerful and enduring way, and it continued to serve this purpose, even as the shameful events unfolded. The immediate reconvening of Congress in the House and Senate Chambers to continue the democratic process reinforced the symbolism and the power of the U.S. Capitol to represent our national values in a way that is far stronger than the mob that sought to undermine these ideals. As our country grapples with and recovers from these events, the National Trust remains deeply committed to the preservation of landmarks all across this country that tell our full American story and advance justice and equity for all people.

This page has been updated since its first publication on Jan. 12, 2021.